New maritime cyber security guidelines for shipping companies and ships
The Finnish Shipowners’ Association and the Maritime Transport Pool, which is part of the National Emergency Supply Agency, have published guidelines for shipping companies and ships on best practices in cyber security. The guidelines are based on a comprehensive maritime cyber security report prepared jointly.
The importance of cyber security in maritime transport has become increasingly important due to increased cyber security threats. Digitalisation can improve the efficiency and safety of maritime operations, but at the same time we need to tackle data security and cyber security risks.
The ever-evolving shipping industry is increasingly automated and ships are equipped with various integrated systems that are connected via telecommunication links to, for example, the shipping company’s organisation, operators and service providers. The use of information technology on board ships has also increased through social networking and services for passengers.
Internet-based systems and data transmission are vulnerable to data breaches and cyber attacks that disrupt operational systems. It is therefore essential that cyber security is properly managed to protect ships, crew and cargo from potential cyber security threats. Attacks may target not only the ship or shipping company, but also their client companies or the entire supply chain.
The report prepared in early 2021 is partly based on surveys and interviews with shipping companies and individual merchant vessels. The report also draws on information from the National Cyber Security Centre as well as existing studies and guidelines. The report was prepared by Deductive Labs Ab. The best practices highlighted in the report have been compiled into easy-to-understand guidelines for use by shipping companies and vessels.
The report and the guidelines have now been published in electronic format on the websites of both the Finnish Shipowners’ Association and the National Emergency Supply Agency. Paper versions of the documents will be printed during autumn 2021.